Crafting the Perfect Marketing Message
How does one go about crafting the perfect marketing message? Over the last couple of marketing tips, we have been talking about the three rules for small business advertising. Last week, we discussed Creating a Customer Profile in order to better understand who your customers are and what is important to them. One of the reasons for creating a customer profile is to help craft the perfect marketing message for our marketing and advertising campaigns.
Now that we understand who we are talking to, we can work on creating effective messages. There are three questions we need to ask ourselves: 1. What are we communicating? 2. Where is the best place for the information? and 3. What do we want our message to accomplish?
What are We Communicating?
The first step is to make sure that we fully understand what we are communicating. Oftentimes, messages become ineffective because we try to say too much or cover too broad of a topic. For example, a sales communication is different from an informational message. Yes, they may have some of the same components but the focus and purpose are different for each. Informational messages are about introducing yourself to the audience, or providing valuable knowledge, or sharing thoughts and ideas. Informational messages help build trust or provide details that help your audience get to know, understand, and value you. Obviously, the hope is that this leads to a sale, but the focus is on an audience that may not be ready to buy but is seeking information.
A sales message, on the other hand, focuses on those who are ready to make a purchase. They are often more direct and help the audience understand exactly what they are purchasing. The goal is to help them feel comfortable and confident with making a purchase decision. A sales message also should include a clear call to action. Such as “get started,” “buy now,” “schedule your appointment,” etc. Informational messages also include calls to action, but they are generally softer. Such as “call for a free consultation” or “click to learn more,” etc.
There are other forms of communication as well. You could be putting together a training manual, or creating an onboarding program for new customers. The point is that you don’t want to try and mix everything together. A manual is not a great place for an upsell. A sales message does not need all the “how-to” details. In other words, don’t confuse your audience. Make sure your message is clear on its purpose.
Where is the Best Place for the Information?
The second step is to decide where you will put the information. For example, is your sales message being designed for radio, social media, or your website? Different media require different approaches. Social media is about short and engaging content. Websites can be used for more detailed information or longer sales messages. Radio is designed to capture attention and drive people to a phone number, website, or physical location. What you include in your message greatly depends on where the message is located. Even the structure of how you use specific media matters in terms of location. You may have a public Facebook page for sharing product information, events, and testimonials, while you use a Facebook group to connect directly with and support current customers. Another example would be where to place content on your website. Do you want your homepage to be more sales-centric or informational? Should you highlight your return policy on a separate page or include it under terms and conditions on your product page? Understanding what is important to your customers will help you make such decisions. But these things should not be left to chance. Every message you create and place should serve a purpose and fit into your overall brand and strategy.
What do We Want Our Message to Accomplish?
The third step for crafting the perfect marketing message is to be clear about what you want your message to accomplish. A sales message without a clear and easy call to action will fail. An informational message designed to gain trust will backfire if it is too sales-centric. Is your message trying to gain brand awareness, drive email signups, or generate sales? Hint: you need messages that do all three but, to be effective, you generally can’t accomplish all of this in one message. Each message should have a clear goal or purpose. If you try to split purposes, not only will you confuse your audience, but it will also be hard to measure the success of your communication.
7 Rules Every Message Should Follow
No matter what or where your message is, there are a few simple rules that every single one of your messages must follow to be effective:
- Make it about the customer, not about you.
- Don’t use industry jargon. Keep the message easy to understand.
- Less is more. Start with the simplest form of the message and then provide ways for people to dive deeper and learn more if they want to.
- Almost always include some form of call to action.
- All communication should be centered around the idea of helping the customer connect with you and your brand.
- Be consistent. Every message should reflect your identity and be easily recognizable as you. Use common colors, graphics, and even voice to bring continuity to every message.
- Be creative and have fun.
Through this article, we have frequently mentioned the “Call to Action.” Read my next article where we will look specifically at how to create an effective “call to action.”